Like me, Judith Johnson had a strong reaction to Nancy Jo Sales’ recent book (and accompanying public appearance). In her article “Teens Addicted to Social Media,” excerpted below, she shares a compelling list of her concerns regarding teens’ exchanges of nude selfies, including their physiologically immature brains. I wanted to share some of her list here, and I hope you’ll click through to read her whole, very thoughtful article.
- The vulnerability of teens is intensified by the fact that as they move through the rite of passage that is their teenage years, the approval of their friends is increasing and eclipsing the value to them of parental approval.
- A confluence of the following forces has created an artificial secret world that is consuming
the time and mental focus of teens and subjecting them to risky, competitive behaviors:
—the popularity of social media among teens
—the normalization of Smart phone usage
—the easy exposure to pornography
—the influence of the Kardashian concept of female beauty
— the trend to up the ante and push the boundaries of sex and violence in visual media.
- What is being forfeited in this situation? Research shows teens are extremely deficient in face-to-face communication skills. What else are they missing out on in terms of personal growth and development, social skills, and academic discipline and learning? What about their stress levels?